Mexican

Happy Halloween y Día de Los Muertos!

Sweet hand-made treats of pepita marzipan and coconut candy from the local mercado. Wishing you all a fantastically fun Halloween and beautiful Día de Los Muertos.

Mexican Grapefruit

Mexican Grapefruit

Hola amigos! Made it though my first hot steamy Mexican summer - it was intense. On the property we were housesitting, we reveled in a tropical garden harvest of sweet bananas, amazing papayas, fragrant limes, and wonderful coconuts. Talk about perks!

It has just started getting cooler now, and grapefruits are appearing in the markets again. My favorite way to enjoy one is to prepare it like this:

Mexican Grapefruit

With a serrated knife, slice it in half and cut around the inside of the peel and through the center segment membranes (this makes it easier to eat with a spoon). Sprinkle the following over both pieces, approximately:

1 tsp (or more) of muscavado sugar
2 tsp (or more) of fine tequila (I like Cazadores reposado)
salt to taste

Enjoy! And make sure to drink the juice left in the bowl. :)

Amaranth Squares

amaranth squares

My first guest post! Check out the story and recipe on La Fuji Mama for these delicious nutritious gluten-free super-easy no-bake amaranth squares. :)

A Healthy Mexican Brunch

Thought I'd share a pic from a light brunch we made and enjoyed with friends on our lovely deck overlooking a beautiful lake this Easter. Since it was Easter, I was feeling a bit sentimental and wanted to dye some eggs, so I dyed them naturally using beets. (We have a red food-coloring allergy in our household, so natural dyes are a must.) Next in the image (clockwise) is fresh guacamole (tip: put the pit in the guac to help it stay green), fresh green salsa, banana bread made with ground oats, chocolate, and pecans, raw jicama (my new favorite veggie) and carrots, tuna and olive oil, and yogurt dill dip. We also had baked tostadas (for eating with the guac, salsa and tuna), fresh squeezed local orange juice, tropical fruit salad, and delicious Chiapas coffee. ¡Que rico! How delicious! (The literal translation is more like "how rich" but here they tend to use this expression for anything that's really good.)

The dill dip is something I enjoyed as a child in the summer with fresh carrots. (I think it may be a Ukrainian thing, because my Mom and Grandma would make a similar dip.) I got my Mom to bring me dried dill from Canada just so that I could make this dip to enjoy with the sweet local carrots. This is how I make it using local ingredients:

Yogurt Garlic Dill Dip

I always free-style this dip, so feel free to play with the amounts of ingredients. I remember there being some sour cream in my Mom's recipe, but I prefer yogurt. Mix together, to your taste, approximately:

  • 1 - 1 1/2 c natural full fat (or Balkan style) yogurt (you can strain some of the yogurt liquids if you like in order to make a thicker dip - in the same manner you would make tzatziki)
  • 1 medium clove of fresh garlic (crushed and finely minced - start with one, then add more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (start with this, then add more to taste)
  • 2 tsp dried dill (or 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill)
  • a bit of lime (or lemon) juice and/or a bit of finely grated zest (to taste)

Store covered in the fridge. Allow to sit overnight before serving - especially if using dried dill. Keeps for about a week. Enjoy with raw veggies.

Cha-cha-cha-chia!

Over the past few months, I've noticed the ancient Mesoamercian chia seed popping up everywhere. Remember the chia pet? Well, it's the same seed, and it happens to be a super food, high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Chia was one of the most important foods for the Aztecs and Mayans. I bought the raw seeds, and started drinking chia fresca, a Mexican drink simply made by mixing about a tablespoon of raw chia seeds into a glass fruit juice or water, and letting it sit for about 10 minutes so that the seeds become gelatinous - the result is a drink that's both refreshing and satisfying.

Where this nutritious little seed really shines for me, is as a hot breakfast cereal.  A good friend gave me some Chia Goodness to try - and I loved it. Inspired, I came up with this tasty combination of nuts, seeds, and fruit that's become a house favourite:

Recipe: Instant Hot Chia Cereal

Besides being tasty, filling, and nutritious - it's super-quick to make: just add hot water. Another bonus: you can customize the recipe with your favourite nuts, seeds, and fruit - fun!

Instant Hot Chia Cereal before adding water.

ChocoSol Chocolate


Here's some absolutely exquisite rustic hand-made (healthy!) chocolate I scored at the Toronto Dufferin Grove Farmer's Market made by the talented folks at ChocoSol, whose motto is:

"Pedal-Powered, Stone-Ground, Socially Just and Made Fresh! "

They really do make their chocolates with human-power, grinding and delivering their goods using pedal-power. At the market they were making hot chocolate with a hand-crank blender - very cool! The varieties I brought home were (clockwise from left): dark chocolate with vanilla and cocoa nibs, Mexican spiced chocolate, chocolate with sesame seed and sea salt.

Learn more about ChocoSol's ethical horizontal trading practices, cocoa varieties, drinking chocolate and amaranth. Awesome :-)